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How Did a Tick Temporarily Paralyze a Little Girl?

13 June 2018

A Grenada, Mississippi mother's warning to other parents after her daughter suffered tick paralysis has been shared thousands of times on Facebook.

Jessica Griffin wrote on Facebook that doctors in MS performed a multitude of tests and a CT scan on her daughter, Kailyn, suspecting everything from a stroke to a neurological syndrome - until they found the cause of little girl's odd symptoms: A tick on the crown of her head.

She said that her daughter went to bed "perfectly fine" the night before, but last Wednesday when she woke her up for daycare things took a "scary turn".

The La Grande, Oregon, woman posted a video on Facebook, hoping family members or friends could help figure out what was causing the girl's sudden unusual ailment.

She tells the TV station that the girl fell "as soon as her feet hit the floor".

"I went to brush her hair to put it in a ponytail and noticed she could barely talk and when I pulled her hair back that's when I seen [sic] the tick".

"I was just thinking that her legs were asleep until I noticed that she couldn't hardly talk!" she wrote. She uploaded the picture of the bag and her daughter who was admitted in the hospital.

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Kailyn has since recovered and was discharged from University of Mississippi Medical Center on June 6, Jessica Griffin wrote on Facebook.

"PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks!" she posted. It's more common in children than it is adults! A nurse bathing her after she was admitted to the hospital found a tick along her hairline.

It's not clear where or how Kailyn Griffin, who is 5 years old, got a tick embedded in her scalp. The disease usually starts with fatigue and muscle pains.

In the later stages it is harder for the victim to move her face or tongue.

After a female tick feeds for five to seven days, the toxin builds up in a person's system. Specifically, the insect's saliva releases a toxin, causing paralysis, inability to speak, and other symptoms.

The diagnosis was at first missed as doctors struggled to work out what was wrong with her. As she helped Kailyn with her hair, Griffin found a sight that greatly alarmed her.

The little girl was immediately rushed to a hospital, where doctors confirmed that she'd been suffering from tick paralysis.

How Did a Tick Temporarily Paralyze a Little Girl?